Monday, January 31, 2011

Song of the Week: Europe - Final Countdown

"The Final Countdown" is a synth rock song by the Swedish rock band Europe written by Joey Tempest. It was the first single released from the band's third studio album, The Final Countdown, in 1986. It is the band's most recognizable and popular song. The song reached No. 1 in 25 countries, including the United Kingdom. In the United States the song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 18 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The single was certified gold in the United Kingdom in 1986.The song's lyrics were inspired by David Bowie's song "Space Oddity".

When it was time to choose the first single from the album The Final Countdown, Tempest suggested the song "The Final Countdown". Originally the band had never planned to release the song as a single, and some members wanted "Rock the Night" to be the first single. "The Final Countdown" was written to be an opening song for concerts, and they never thought it would be a hit. But when their record company Epic Records suggested that it should be the first single, the band decided to release it.

The song enjoys notable popularity in many sports arenas and stadiums; public address booths have often played the opening keyboard riff to rally the home crowd; it has also become a staple of high school and college pep bands for this same purpose. It was also frequently used in the American television show Arrested Development as the opening theme of G.O.B.'s magic show. The song was used for the American commercial of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and is used as an entrance theme for professional wrestler Bryan Danielson in Ring of Honor. It was the unofficial song of the Eurobasket 1987 held in Athens, Greece (it was the main song theme played during the time-outs) and it is still heavily associated with both the introductions of the Detroit Pistons at their home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills as well as the surprise and unprecedented victory of the Greek Men's Basketball team over the team of the Soviet Union in the last seconds of that Cup final (1987). It has been used as the opening theme for Henry Green's weekly radio show "Radio Therapy" on WQLT for several years and continues to see widespread airplay on similar Classic Hits and Classic Rock radio stations. On The Singing Bee, it was used preceding the final round, called "The Final Countdown." The song has been used in the video games SingStar '80s, Saints Row 2 and Lego Rock Band. In 2010, the song was used in trailers for the third series of the 1980s-set BBC One television drama Ashes to Ashes.

The video, directed by the acclaimed Nick Morris, contains footage from two concerts the band did at Solnahallen in Solna, Sweden on May 26 and 27, 1986, as well as some extra footage filmed at the sound checks for those concerts.

The song has been covered by various artists, both local and famous; including the London Symphony Orchestra, Freezepop, After Forever, Dannii Minogue, Gigatrón, Geoff Downes, The Protomen, Norther, Dispatched, the Toy Dolls, Immolation, Leif Garrett, Furillo, Vision Divine, The Delegates, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Stone, and the Latvian cello band Melo-M. Slovenian avant-garde group Laibach made a rework of the song for their NATO album, they also recorded a promo clip. Contrary to popular belief, the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom has never done a cover version of the song - the wrongly credited versions are usually those by Norther and Dispatched. There's even a list of the best and worst Final Countdown covers :)

Slash to get into horror film business

Current Velvet Revolver and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash have announced at the Sundance Film Festival , that he is launching a horror movie production company, named Slasher Films.

He has forged a partnership with Scout Productions’ Michael Williams and Rob Eric to acquire three horror film packages- Wake the Dead, Theorom and The Other Kingdom.

Jay Russell will direct Wake the Dead, which is about a contemporary Frankenstein .

Theorom will be helmed by Splice director Vincenzo Natali which is about a college professor letting lose a genetic evil when he unlocks an ancient relic.

The Other Kingdom is written by Philip Eisner, who'll also direct. It is about an alien pathogen turns people into savage killers and how the hospital staff fights it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Classic Albums: Cinderella - Night Songs

Night Songs was Cinderella's debut album, released back in 1986 through Mercury Records in America and Vertigo Records in Europe. It sold very well, several million copies due to a combination of their breakthrough single Nobody's Fool, MTV airplay, and an opening slot on labelmates Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet tour.

The album was produced, recorded, engineered & mixed By Andy Johns. Line-up were Tom Keifer (vocals, guitar, piano), Jeff LaBar (guitar) and Eric Brittingham (bass) but the drums on the album were played by session drummer Jody Cortez - former London drummer Fred Coury joined only in time to make the album's cover and play on upcoming tours. Other additional musicians were Barry Bennedetta (guitar), Jeff Paris (keyboards) and Tony Mills and Jon Bon Jovi (backing vocals).

The album peaked at #3 on the US charts on February 7, 1987, and was certified double platinum for selling 2 million copies twelve days later.In May 1991 it was certified triple platinum, having sold 3 million copies.

Leadoff single "Shake Me" was not a hit itself, but was the song that set the stage for the band's big breakthrough. music video which played upon the band's name, thus depicting a hot girl, who, Cinderella-like, is unable to go to a Cinderella show, while what one must suppose to be her elder sisters can. Somehow a poster on the wall allows her to teleport to the concert so that she may enjoy the band's performance and join them afterwards.
"Nobody's Fool" was the albums hit single, cracked the Top 20, reaching #13. The music video continues the storyline from where the Shake Me video leaves off, following the Cinderella-like girl as she accompanies the band to their rehearsal space, with the wicked sisters in pursuit. As the band performs the song, the girl runs home for the stroke of midnight when her rocker outfit changes back to a plain dress. She later meets the band again for an autograph, and the video ends as a glint of recognition passes across Tom Keifer's face.
Third single "Somebody Save Me" stalled at #66. On May 4, 1987, Cinderella filmed parts of their concert in Philadelphia. These live songs were, along with their three MTV videos, released on home video in August 1987 on Night Songs: The Videos.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Night Songs and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Whitesnake Releases New Album 'Forevermore' in March

The legendary rock'n'roll legacy Whitesnake releases a brand new album 'Forevermore' on Frontiers Records on March 25th in Europe and March 29th in North America.

Their 11th studio album was recorded, produced and mixed by Coverdale, guitarist Doug Aldrich and Michael McIntyre at Snakebyte Studios and Grumblenott Studios & Villas in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

"Forevermore" will include the following songs:
Steal Your Heart Away; All Out Of Luck; Love Will Set You Free; Easier Said Than Done; Tell Me How; I Need You (Shine A Light); One Of These Days; Love And Treat Me Right; Dogs In The Street; Fare Thee Well; Whipping Boy Blues; My Evil Ways; Forevermore.

Current line-up:
  • David Coverdale - vocals
  • Doug Aldrich - guitar
  • Reb Beach - guitars
  • Michael Devin - bass
  • Briian Tichy - drums

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Song of the Week: Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" was a 1988 power ballad by Poison and one of their biggest selling hits. It was released in October 1988 as the third single from Poison's second album Open Up And Say... Ahh! and it became the band's first and only number-one hit in the U.S., reaching the top spot on Christmas Eve in 1988 for three weeks (carrying over into 1989). It was a #13 hit in the UK Top20. The song was named number 34 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s", #100 on their "100 Greatest Love Songs" and #7 on MTV and VH1 "Top 25 Power Ballads."

Listen the clip on the Amazon's MP3 Player

According to singer Bret Michaels, the recording sessions for "Every Rose" were fraught with infighting and squabbles among band members. "It was like, I totally thought this would help us move forward, you know, push the envelope, sonically," Michaels has said, "but the others were just not into it, you know? I mean, C.C. has always been the metal rawk one in the group, and he thought I was a fucking sell-out. He hated playing "Every Rose"; the song is one of the reasons he refuses to speak to me anymore. Although I think me sleeping with his girlfriend of six years didn't help either." C.C. Deville would later retort in the Poison biography Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll ... & Sex & Drugs Some More: The Poison Story, "Well that's Bret's take, okay? And you know what, he's a cunt. That's all I have to say about that.

Musically, the song starts quietly and features two intricate guitar solos, one mellow and one fast. Among guitarists, the song is notable for epitomizing the standard G - Cadd9 progression in pop/rock. During the same period, Poison had been playing at a cowboy bar called "The Ritz" in Dallas, Texas, accounting for the song's recognizable references to cowboys in the chorus, along with the twang in Bret Michaels' vocals, which give the song a country feel not often heard in power ballads composed by glam metal bands.

The music video to "Every Rose" was similar to those filmed for other 1980s power ballads. It features Bret Michaels sitting down, playing the guitar, and singing along to the song, interspersed with black-and-white clips from concerts, and color frames of a storyline that follows the song.

And if we really look the big picture, it was songs like this one that really killed hair metal back in those days, not the grunge etc. Overdose of pop ballads, they castrated and cut the metal from hair metal, leaving just ugly wigs behind. But they did sell, they surely did.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Every Rose Has Its Thorn and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stampede Will Release New Album In April

British hard rockers from the early Eighties, Stampede, have announced the release of their new album, "A Sudden Impulse". After nearly 30 years it's a long-awaited follow-up to their classic 1983 debut studio album, "Hurricane Town".

Stampede, formed in 1981 by Reuben and Laurence Archer, signed to Polydor Records in 1982, and immediately received favourable press reaction. The band completed a residency at the Marquee, and appeared at the Reading and Mildenhall Festivals, recording both sets on The Rolling Stones mobile studio.

The result was the first Stampede album released by Polydor called the Live Bootleg.

The band completed two tours with Gary Moore, and then commenced recording Hurricane Town, their first studio album.

The band continued to tour, completing a residency in Portugal, appearing on the BBC Tommy Vances Friday Rock Show, Fluff Freemans Capital Radio Rock show, BBC In Concert, and several TV slots, whilst also appearing at Festivals and venues throughout the UK. Prior to The bands Reading appearance, Reuben broke his leg badly and soon quit the music business to form his design company, whilst Laurence went on to join Phil Lynott in his new band Grand Slam, and later UFO to record High Stakes and Dangerous Men and UFO: Live in Japan.

Now the band has reformed with original bassist Colin Bond, new drummer Steve Graystone and the addition of a second guitarist in the form of Chris Clowsley. Their new labum will be released on Rock Candy Records' spin-off front line label Grind That Axe Records

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alex Kirst from the Nymphs and Iggy Pop's Band Dies In Hit-and-Run

Hard rock drummer Alex Kirst, 47, best known for his work with Iggy Pop's band and the alt/glam rock outfit Nymphs, has been killed in a tragic hit-and-run accident in the Californian desert, according to a report by the Associated Press. Kirst was struck by either a white Chevrolet Tahoe or else a GMC Yukon according to local authorities, who also stated that there is no evidence that the vehicle ever braked. The incident took place on Jan. 13 in Cathedral City, Calif.

The Nymphs were an alternative rock band of the late 1980s and early 1990s with lead singer Inger Lorre. The band was signed to Geffen Records, and released their only album in 1991. The Nymphs were known for their wild stage shows and their rebellious attitude towards record companies. The band broke up in 1992.

Van Halen begins working on new album

Van Halen formally started work on a new studio album with Grammy Award winning producer John Shanks Monday January 17.

The band will record their first all-new studio album since 1998's Van Halen III and their first with their original singer David Lee Roth since 1983's album legend 1984.

No further details are available about the coming album. According to band's manager Irving Azoff he is pushing the band to tour, but word is Eddie Van Halen is reluctant to do so without any new material to release. So a 2011 tour has been publicly mentioned previously by Azoff, it remains up in the air as to when, or even if a tour will happen at all.

Vince Neil to Serve Time for DUI

The Mötley Crüe lead singer will start serving jail time on January 15th for speeding in Las Vegas in his Lamborghini while under the influence of alcohol.

This is not the first DUI on Neil's rap sheet. In late 1984 he was involved in a crash that killed Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley and injured two others. An uninjured Neil served 20 days in jail and paid $2.5 million in restitution to the victims who survived.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Classinc Albums: Skid Row - Skid Row

Once upon time, etc, etc, Bon Jovi and Dave Sabo had been friends for a very long time. They had agreed that if one of them made it in the music business, he would help the other out. So when in 1987 Jon Bon Jovi had been put in a position to seek out new and upcoming talent (he had set up a publishing company called the Underground Music Company) he sent his manager Doc McGhee sought out Skid Row, and signed them. Skid Row secured a record deal with Atlantic Records in 1988, and entered the studio with Michael Wagener (of Ozzy Osbourne, White Lion and Extreme fame) to record their first album. The album was recorded in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at the Royal Records studio.

The self titled first album was released on January 24, 1989 and it charted at #6 on The Billboard 200 and is certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA. The album spawned 3 top 10 singles, "18 and Life" and "I Remember You" and the huge mainstream rock hit "Youth Gone Wild". It is the band's most commercially successful album. It went on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide, including 5 million in the United States alone.

Track listing
All Songs Published By New Jersey Underground Music.
  1. "Big Guns" Rachel Bolan, Scotti Hill, Dave Sabo, Rob Affuso 3:36
  2. "Sweet Little Sister" Bolan, Sabo 3:10
  3. "Can't Stand the Heartache" Bolan 3:24
  4. "Piece of Me" Bolan 2:48
  5. "18 and Life" Bolan, Sabo 3:50
  6. "Rattlesnake Shake" Bolan, Sabo 3:07
  7. "Youth Gone Wild" Bolan, Sabo 3:18
  8. "Here I Am" Bolan, Sabo 3:10
  9. "Makin' a Mess" Sebastian Bach, Bolan, Sabo 3:38
  10. "I Remember You" Bolan, Sabo 5:10
  11. "Midnight/Tornado" Matt Fallon, Sabo 4:17

Listen the tracks on the Amazon mp3 player:

  • Sebastian Bach – lead vocals
  • Scotti Hill – lead and rhythm guitar
  • Dave "The Snake" Sabo – rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Rachel Bolan – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Rob Affuso – drums and percussion
  • David Kent – engineer
  • Michael Wagener – producer, engineer, mixing

The Singles from the album:
Youth Gone Wild was the debut single and the lead single. Its music video received heavy airplay on MTV; however, while the album itself was a major hit and went multi-platinum in the U.S. and other countries, "Youth Gone Wild" as a single only reached #99 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached #20 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.
18 and Life has been the band's biggest hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, but only reaching #11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart,It was named the 60th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
I Remember You is the third and final single from Skid Row's 1989 eponymous debut album. The power ballad was released in November 1989 and written by bandmates Rachel Bolan and Dave "the Snake" Sabo. It reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-three on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in early 1990. The song also charted at #36 on the UK Singles chart.